The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Cartoon credit: David Pope.

So, I just wanted to give my own thoughts on what occurred last week.

Those men were criminals who happened to identify with Islam, their own twisted view of it anyway.
They were also idiots. As we’ve all seen over this past week, the only thing their actions have done is stirred people up in defence. It hasn’t cowed them or anything.

Plenty of people have examined what they wanted, what it means, etc.

The thing is: we’re stirred up and debating free speech and such cos the men went in with guns blazing. We’re so stirred up because of this that in some cases we risk losing sight of other things.

What other things? Well. An example of what I mean can be found in last year’s debate in Australia about “Section 18C”. It protects against discrimination based on “race, colour or national or ethnic origin”, and makes it an offense to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” another.
Some people, in the wake of the tragedy, have tried to yell, “Free speech for all, whatever is said – down with 18C!”
But that’s just conflating things and blurring issues together. Free speech is never truly free – it is about privledge. The question being, who has the most? That’s why Australia has 18 C; because free speech is not hate speech.

Why, why, why do extremists always attack with guns?

Personally, I hate mockery humour. But that doesn’t mean others shouldn’t be allowed to publish it. That people should be killed for daring to poke fun. FFS, they were journalists – cartoonists!

The issue of free speech needs to be discussed. Using words, not weapons, dammit. For it’s only by discussing things that we’re able to attempt to understand each other. Like that old song – “if you don’t listen, you’re never gonna learn”; or something like that. The alternative, violence, will never solve anything. After all, it always ends in tears.

Links I found useful:


As well as: various The Age articles – the comment section has had some great stuff.

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